By Kathryn Menue


BELVIDERE – On Wednesday, BHS Choirs (1)Dec. 2, the Belvidere High School (BHS) choirs opened the doors to the Performing Arts Center (PAC) to spread a little holiday cheer during their winter concert.

The winter concert began at 7 p.m. under the direction of Karen Cantele, with five choirs delivering a festive and enjoyable show.

Show Choir

The performance opened with Show Choir singing with melodious and well-balanced harmonies in their rendition of “Underneath the Tree,” arranged by Lojeski. The choir also performed an upbeat dance number, which reflected the nature of the song.

From there, the chorus took it down a notch, by performing a sweet and slow piece of “Grown Up Christmas List,” arranged by Chinn.

The choir ended on a cheerier note with their routine of “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” arranged by Billingsley.

Mixed Choir

Mixed Choir kicked-off the show next with their twist on the classics. First they performed “Jazz Gloria” where they performed beautifully with only the accompaniment of Mark Libby on the String Bass.BHS Choirs (3)

Then, the choir took a trip-back in time with their rendition of “This December (I’ll Remember You),” by Althouse.

Nothing could be more Christmassy than an Irving Berlin classic, so Mixed Choir performed “An Irving Berlin Christmas,” arranged by Emerson, which included “Count Your Blessings,” “White Christmas,” and “Happy Holiday.”

They finished their performance with, “Jingle Bell Fantasy,” arranged by Huff.

Treble Clef

Taking the stage next, Treble Clef performed a Spanish-style classic with “Brazilian Christmas Carol” arranged by Harlan. The ethnic piece featured instrumentals by Rylee Abraham, Natalia Resendiz, Taylor Meier, and Angela Inniss.

Afterwards, Treble Clef performed their gorgeous take on “The Little Drummer Boy,” arranged by Davis. Their angelic voices mixed beautifully with only the accompaniment of Rebecca Colson on the drum.

BHS Choirs (5)The choir finished their set with “The Snow Lay on The Ground,” arranged by Crocker and “One Child,” by Gallina. The songs showcased Treble Clef’s soft, yet powerful voices.


As Treble Clef descended from the stage, the audience gathered in the lobby to enjoy the sweet, holiday treats available during the intermission.


After a short break, the Choraliers took to the stage with “O Santa,” arranged by Taylor. The performance displayed the young women’s hard-work with their light-hearted dancing and cheerful singing.

The Choraliers brought the mood down a bit with their charming interpretation of “Mary Did You Know,” arranged by Larson.BHS Choirs (6)

The choir ended on an upbeat note delivering a performance of “Candy Cane Lane,” arranged by Huff that proved to be as sweet as a candy cane.


The last choir to grace the stage was Acappella, which opened strong by performing “Ukranian Bell Carol,” by Leontovich.

Following the strong-opener was “Rise Up, Shepherd, and Follow,” arranged by Shaw. Acappella’s rendition featured the soloist talents of Shelby Seele, Lauren Slintak, Abbey Shale, and Courtney Rodgers.

Acappella proceeded with the program by giving a powerful performance of “Silent Night (as recorded by Pentatonix)” and arranged by Emerson.

After a bit of technical difficulties, Acappella delivered a surprise to the audience by performing “Christmas in the Trenches,” by McCutcheon/Larsen, with the addition of a visual projection of facts about the song.

The song began with one of the students reciting a speech in German, which included information on how the song came to be. “Christmas in the Trenches” tells the tale of how during Christmas Eve and Christmas Day during WWI in 1914, troops enacted a cease-fire.BHS Choirs (7)

“It was a day of peace in war…it is only a pity that it was not decisive peace,” one German soldier said about the day.

“The men traded chocolates, cigarettes, and photos from home,” a choir student said during the piece. “There was peace for one night.”

The students then picked-up the song, which told the stories of the men who broke up the war to celebrate in the camaraderie of the Christmas tidings.

Along with the song, the slideshow projection shared facts about the rainy Christmas Eve day where Germans began the ceasefire by delivering chocolate cake to British troops as a sign of peace. Men, from both sides of the trenches, came together to join in the joy of the season, even in a time of war. Once the ceasefire ended, the men from the front lines could no longer fight each other and were moved to the back because they saw their supposed enemies as “brothers.”BHS Choirs (8)

The song ended with the audience feeling the impact of the true meaning of Christmas.

A silence filled the room until Acappella performed their last song “Christmas on Broadway,” arranged by Higgins.

The last song brought the usual holiday cheer back to the room, with the Broadway medley containing the songs, “It’s beginning to look like Christmas/ Pinecones and Holly Berries,” from the 1963 musical Here’s Love; “Toyland/March of Toys,” from the musical Babes in Toyland!; “My Favorite Things,” from the Sound of Music; “We Need a Little Christmas,” from the musical Mame; and “God Bless Us Everyone,” from the musical version of a Christmas Carol.

With a final bow, and a thank you from Director Cantele, the winter concert ended with the holiday season pulling on everyone’s heartstrings.

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